Surviving University Dorms
Take a bunch of 18-year olds who are living away from home for the first time, give them some expired condoms and a steady supply of cheap booze, and you have the right conditions for the dignity-free shitstorm that is university dormitory living. STDs get passed around more than Frisbees in the quad, dudes are on a first name basis with the ambulance drivers who come to pick up the nightly alcohol poisoning victim, and everyone’s bedroom floor is sticky from beer and jizz and poor decisions. Dorm living is such a chaotic nightmare that maintaining your buzz seems like the only logical way to get your degree.
Since it’s the middle of a seven day bender-orgy known as frosh week, we thought we’d give you a few pointers to help you through your first year away from mommy and daddy’s.
There are two unwritten rules when you first arrive in prison: (1) Don’t make friends with the first guy who talks to you and (2) punch the biggest, scariest criminal right in the face. The same applies in dorms (sort of). The first ultra-chipper eager beaver to introduce themselves, while appearing friendly at first, will invariably turn out to be a huge annoying leech. And while I don’t recommend punching a football player in the face, don’t hesitate to humiliate an overly cocky second-year with a prank or an insult. Sophomores always feel that they have a world of experience over their slightly younger counterparts when really all they’ve had are two semesters of Intro to Psych and a couple pregnancy scares.
Teenage boys let their rooms turn into 1940s Dresden especially fast. Don’t do this. A girl may come home with you from the bar one night, but she won’t be back again remembering that she got L’d on top of a pile of garbage. As well as keeping the place tidy, stay away from Scarface posters and displaying empty bottles of imported beer. For girls, try to be more original than a fucking Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster. It just screams you’re high maintenance.
Some dorms don’t allow drinking, but you know what? Every freshman is underage so it’s already illegal to drink everywhere anyways. If you don’t get absolutely plastered at least four times a week in your first year, you have wasted a golden window of your youth. Save moderate sobriety for your third and fourth year when classes start to actually matter. You should also prepare for drinking games. Some might say that beer pong and flip cup were tailor-made for frat boy rapists. And they’d be right. But they’re also pretty fun. That being said, don’t take drinking games so seriously that you end up being one of those shitty guys who plays by the rules because “That’s how my frat rolls.”
Don’t expect to be friends with your roommate. Just try not to be arch-enemies. Even though that’s a difficult task when you’re living three feet away from each other in a six foot wide room, try not to steal each other’s things and everything should be fine. You and your roommate will also develop an unspoken jerk schedule. He will know when you’re in a three-hour class and you will be aware of his gym habits. The room is then used accordingly. The same goes for sex. If the roommate is away, that room becomes either an unmitigated bone zone or a personal masturbation chamber. But if the roomie is home, you and your sexual partner should not expect them to leave. Go find some creative places around campus to get it on. It’s more fun than a creaky single bed anyway.
Go to the library. The dorms are noisy and have way too many distractions. Expecting a shared living space filled with post-pubescents to be absolutely silent is both unfair and unrealistic.
You’re probably going to show up to university in a long-distance relationship with someone from back home. But unless you become a celebrity later on, you’ll probably never get as many opportunities to get laid as you will in freshmen year. Long-distance relationships always fall apart anyway.
Also, don’t date people who live in the same dorm as you. Sure, it’s easier to hump someone who lives down the hall, but breaking up will make every trip to the bathroom a potentially awkward run-in. You totally will though, so just try and delay it as long as possible.
Meal Hall is no different from a typical high school cafeteria. Tables are claimed by various houses or sports teams, and you still get to see things like the nerd table or the goth corner. What you want to do is get good at stealing food to bring back to your dorm, thereby decreasing the frequency of the tedious trips to meal hall. It’s also a good place to steal cutlery for the following year when you’re living in a shithole apartment.
Someone somewhere in your dorm has an STD. Campus sex is basically like playing Russian roulette where your cock or pussy is the gun, but with five bullets in the chamber instead of just one. You’ll probably get gonorrhea or something else pretty minor (pop some antibiotics and you’re good to go), but it probably won’t be AIDS, so don’t freak out.
You will drink away your laundry money at least once. But you can’t be both smelly and drunk and expect to get your naughty parts fondled by a stranger. Rinse your clothes off in the shower and hang them to dry somewhere if you absolutely must (do not spray AXE on them, idiot).
These guys are the worst. They are the high school hall monitors of dorms and are generally sour power-trippers who will make your life hell if you cross them. They’re also the eager beaver of first year, now in upper years, trying to pick up naïve younger girls who can’t see the douchebag through their baby-goggles. Sometimes RA’s will pretend to be the guy “who you can say anything to,” but will rat you out for having drugs or being black out drunk and naked on the steps of your dorm.
Smoking weed inside your dorm is risky. A good way to avoid getting caught though is to keep the temperature inside your room several degrees warmer than outside in the hallway. Many people try throwing down a wet towel at the bottom of the door to stop the smoke from escaping, but it gets through the side cracks anyway. Simple physics say that the cooler air in the hallway will seep into the room rather than the smell seeping out. Still, it’s always best to save it for late at night when your lame-ass RA is passed out from a long, hard day of being a total fucktard. My trick was placing a bowl of vinegar in the middle of your room whilst you blaze. It actually works and completely throws the RA’s off your trail.
Don’t waste your time with intricate Rube Goldberg contraptions. They can be as simple as breaking into your buddy’s room and taping all his things to the wall. Or even typing 58008 (BOOBS) onto his calculator while he’s not looking. Just remember: Never forget to lock your door and sign off of Facebook. The only good Facebook rape is one that ruins the integrity and character of your friend subtly, like having him join a Holocaust denier group or commenting “Nice titz cuz!” on his cousin’s wedding portrait.
If there was ever an acceptable place on planet Earth to wear ugly flip-flops, it’s dorm showers. What appears to be spilt conditioner never is. They essentially become group masturbation chambers largely because they are the only private spaces left.
During finals, an entire dorm will turn into a stress cave of nail-biters freaking out about all the stuff they need to catch up on. Everyone abandons hygiene and just wears sweatpants. Have some goddamn self-respect and take care of yourself. Spending 20 minutes taking a shower, brushing your teeth and putting on a pair of acceptable pants is not going to make you fail the exam. Having low self-esteem because you look like complete shit is the worst state of mind to be in before a 200 question multiple choice on Ancient Civ’.
Despite the blaring of shitty music or the weird smell at meal hall, dorm living is a fun and sloppy way to spend your later teens. But like all good things, it has its shelf-life. The acceptable portion of your university career spent in dorms should be limited to first and second year at most. Anyone living in dorms in their third and higher years is a social hand grenade too weird to find friends cheap enough to split an off-campus house with. You’ll probably be looking forward to moving off-campus anyways, after two years of high-density debauchery your genitals and liver will need a break. Although you'll look back fondly, you’ll get flashbacks about excessive drug use, cargo shorts, and unprotected sex, making dorm living your personal 'Nam.
Follow Gregory on Twitter @GGRPike
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